my "other" hobby...

... is ice cream making!

.. without an ice cream maker. Pure homemade goodness, and definitely a labor of love and waiting!

 Creamy chocolate ice cream, anyone?

I know, it doesn't look tasty or even appetizing in the photos, but packing it in the freezer for a few days to a week made the whole thing creamy and delightful. It reminds me of Arce Dairy. :)

My next project: avocado and kaimito ice cream. :)

effects of tweeting.

 This is what Twitter does to me. I can no longer write a decent blog entry cos I tend to post pictures more that I write "cohesive" sentences. Hah, I hope I get over this soon.

Anyhoo, here are some snippets, yet again, of what I've been up to since Saturday...

heavy breakfast for a busy day. all made/cooked by yours truly!
chocolate cupcakes. two dozen of 'em.
half of them were frosted with chocolate ganache.
another half with cream cheese. yummm.

 The real challenge for the past few days was packing up stuff and moving them to my new apartment. Organizing them was another issue, BUT I'm glad it's almost done!

barely done.
yes, that's all mine. haha.
I had to sleep on a banig for two nights...
we're almost there, I can see the light!

I'm done organizing most of my stuff and the place looks like home, but I still have a few abubot that I have to fix. But I'm glad it's over.

More photos to follow! :)



Today, I made some carrot cupcakes to give in to a longstanding request. I made twenty-two cupcakes. Complete with cream cheese frosting.

Guess what happened?

They're all gone! I wasn't able to take a photo of the actual cupcakes, thus, the empty container. Haha.

Fourteen pieces went to my former colleague who ordered them,  I ate three pieces, gave two pieces to friends and the rest were bought off by people at work. Me eating three pieces means a lot cos I am not a fan of carrots. Not at all. I am not biased, okay, I loved them. Really. :)

Thanks to Mom for tried and tested recipes! ;)


perpetual hunger.

I've been having bouts of what seems to be perpetual hunger since last week. I really don't know why. Maybe I need to get started with running again. Gaaaaah.

Today has been really crazy for me - got home at around 8:30am, slept until 11ish, went to BPI to deposit my initial payment for my new place, then HSBC to pay my bill, and finally at the office a few minutes before 1:00pm for Web Development Training. I was running on low when I got to the office and I didn't have time to grab something decent to eat.. I settled with Magic Flakes and Butter Coconut biscuits. I thought I would have enough time time and energy to eat but when I got home a little before 5:00pm and went straight to bed and woke up around 8:00pm to prepare for work.

Now.. I'm at work and I'm just so sleepy. Since I was so hungry earlier, I had some sandwiches delivered from The Sandwich Guy.

Ultimate Roast Beef for Php 100.00!

 Sandwiches, burgers, fries, and pizza are my top comfort / to-go food.

What's yours?


I've started churpin' :)

I just joined #phchurpchurp. Ok pala yung ph.churpchurp.com! Get paid to tweet! Amaaazing! #fb

chocolate cookie surprise.

Since I started baking, I have taken e-newsletter subscriptions to a whole new level. I've subscribed to every cooking/baking website that has become my daily favorite. Sometime ago, I have subscribed to Martha Stewart's Cookie of the Day but I haven't tried any of her recipes yet. A lot of the blogs I've come across have confessed a love-hate relationship with MS and I was quite unsure about her recipes - some say they're awesome, others say they're a disappointment. I guess all recipes are like that no matter who made it. I don't really know where the disconnect lies; it could be the transcription of the recipe itself (a few hits and misses in the measurement or the procedure) or it could be the actual baking process. I can't really tell. For most of the recipes I've tried, I know that I always follow the recipe to a T.. Uhm, okay. Sometimes I get too lazy to measure each and every ingredient and place it in its own saucer or bowl. I do measure everything as directed but what I normally do is dump all dry ingredients in one mixing bowl (cos that's how most recipes go!). I'm more careful with the wet ingredients though. ;)

Anywaaaaay, that's too long for an introduction, eh? Today marked my very first Martha Stewart adaptation, and I couldn't be any happier. Again, I'm not sure if I was just lucky or I just stumbled into a great recipe. What did I make? Chocolate Cookie Surprise! Is it a coincidence or what? All I can say is that the cookies were indeed a surprise. :)

Here's how it looked from the Cookie of the Day Newsletter:

From Martha Stewart

Mine didn't look as perfect as the one in the photo, though. I frosted the whole cookie! Hahahaha.

Before frosting.

Before and After.

These cookies remind me of Choco Mallows, only with a smaller marshmallow.

My verdict? YUMMMM-O! :)

** Side notes:

- I really should start learning how to take good photos... Even without a good camera.
- And I really should start investing in good china and other ornamental stuff like linens, tableware, etc.
- Sometimes my photos are just so.. unworthy to be posted. Hahaha.


dear self.

Dear self,
Please take things slowly. Life isn't all about the hits and misses. Sometimes you have to pause and breathe in. Take time to look at your surroundings. There's so much to appreciate. Never forget that there's always something to be thankful about. Smile.

It's not the end of the world. You'll get by.. You will, as you always do, find that there's always a rainbow after the rain.



** thanks to Google for the last two images.

a [beautiful] mess?

mints, my|phone (literally), notebooks filled with recipes, and my planner to help me get by.

This is how messy my bed side is most of the time. I can't really call it a bed side table cos I don't have a table. Hah. Anyhoo, this is a glimpse of how messy my mind is right now.

I guess it's time for some spring cleaning -- yeah, just in time cos I'm about to move out of my old place and say hello to a spankin' new apartment! Yay!

Well, that's definitely something lovely to look forward to.



Because I'm too lazy to post anything, let the photos do the talking.

I made these today:

doughnut muffins for breakfast.

sardine pasta for lunch.

Now I'm hungry!


tandoori chicken.

I made tandoori chicken yesterday. I think calling it "tandoori chicken" is kinda misleading cos I didn't cook it in a tandoor since I didn't have one. But then most "modern" recipes call for grilling, roasting or baking... Who am I to say no to that?

So what exactly is a tandoor, you ask? It's a clay oven traditionally used in Indian, Afghan, and Pakistani cooking, according to Mr. Wikipedia. I don't really know how it looks like but after searching Google, I found this:

Image from http://www.tandooronoxford.com.au/

Making the dish was so easy, but the waiting part was harder. See, all you have to do is mix all the ingredients for the marinade and toss in the chicken for eight hours/overnight, but not more than two days. Yes, I am not kidding! It took that long. But all the waiting was worth it. :)

Sorry, the skin was removed.

I got the recipe from some website. Here goes...

1/2 kilo chicken thigh / breast (I prefer fillet)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or malt vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and grated or crushed ginger root
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Slices of cucumber, red onion, tomato and lemon (I didn't have any),  for garnish

Prick the flesh of the chicken all over with a fork. Then, using a sharp knife, cut slashes in the flesh to allow the marinade to seep in. Set aside.

Combine the yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until well-mixed, then pour the mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Toss chicken pieces inside the bag and squish bag, coating all pieces with the marinade. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, but not more than two days.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, squeezing out excess marinade slightly, and brush with oil. Grill chicken for 6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

You can also bake/roast them at a pre-heated oven of 225C for 30-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Garnish with slices of carrots, cucumber, and tomato.

It didn't look as orange as the other tandoori chicken recipes I've seen online, maybe cos the one I got didn't use turmeric or curry for the spices. Maybe I'll try next time. 

And I'm wondering if it'll taste (and look) better had I used tandoori masala. Hmm.


mocha chocolate chip cookies.

As always, last week I have been fussing over what to bake on the weekend. I already have three notebooks filled with printed recipes (I'm cheap like that, haha). I also have a copy of Yummy's Bake, Give, Sell! cookbook. I was confused over what to pick, maybe cos I just have too much recipes already. Haha.

I wanted to make cupcakes again, but since I already made chocolate banana cupcakes and black bottom cupcakes last week, I decided to try something else. Brownies? Nah. I made cookies this time.

I asked an avid fan (LOL) what he wanted - chocolate jumbles, chocolate chip Oreo cookies, or mocha chocolate chip cookies. If I had my way, I'd go with the Oreos, but what's the point of asking if I'm not going to follow the suggestion? Yeah, you guessed it, I made mocha chocolate chip cookies.

It's such an easy recipe, I tell you. It's just adding a little twist to the quintessential chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Adapted from Lovin' from the Oven:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Whisk the flour, coffee, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Add egg and vanilla, beat until blended.

Turn mixer speed down and add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly blended in.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for a few hours, I chilled mine overnight.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop out dough onto baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

I really love how the cookies turned out - evenly sized, chewy with a hint of melted chocolate. They're best enjoyed with coffee or milk -- I did! :)


black bottom cupcakes.

I tried baking black bottom cupcakes last weekend, but sadly, they were a big fail. I didn't like the cupcake base so much (no eggs!) and since I didn't have cream cheese, I tried to use a white chocolate filling that didn't work well cos they burned the tops.

Anyway, as my friend would tell me, "Nothing stops a passionate baker." Hell yeah, I would never back down until I get it. So, after a few days of baking relapse, I tried my hand at it again. This time, I didn't use the original recipe I got from Joy of Baking. I didn't even use it as my inspiration. I used a completely different recipe, but they're kind of the same - no butter, just oil. I used Joy of Baking's Chocolate Banana recipe and just omitted the bananas. It was also my way of experimenting with the cake, to see if they'll still be moist even without the bananas.

So here's my own Black Bottom Cupcake version.

For the cupcakes:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Bensdorp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole milk / 1/4 cup evaporated milk diluted in 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
custard filling (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. You will notice that the batter is quite thin.

Scoop (I used a 2oz ice cream scoop) batter into muffin tin, just until they're half full. Scoop custard filling on top.

Bake at 180C (160C for my turbo) for 18-20 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

For the custard filling:
2-3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks, beaten

In a sauce pan (a double boiler might be better to prevent curdling), melt butter. Once butter has melted add sugar little by little. Once incorporated, add in cornstarch. Pour in milk, stirring slowly. Let mixture simmer. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat once mixture is smooth and thick.

It's like leche flan in a cake! Yuuuum!

Black Bottom Cupcakes With Custard Filling


pad thai with chicken.

I made Pad Thai noodles with chicken about a month ago. At first, it seemed a bit daunting, but I soon discovered that as with anything you do for the first time, it may be hard but after going past that stage, it gets better everyday.

So I made this dish again on Friday. This time it took me just about 20-30 minutes. Amazing.

I searched for the recipe and I quickly found a lot of results. The recipes vary, but what's important is the sauce. You can make your own topping, use any kind of meat, but you gotta have the "authentic" sauce.

Having said that, let me start with the Pad Thai sauce:

You'll need:
3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water (I used the brand Thai, bought it at Landmark or SM, I forgot.)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce, + more to taste
1-3 tsp. chili sauce, or substitute 1/2 tsp. or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Just mix everything in a cup or bowl.  You might also want to double the recipe if you want to have more sauce for your noodles.

To complete the recipe, you'll need:

8 oz. Thai rice noodles (or enough for 2 people), linguini-width, available at Asian/Chinese aisle in the supermarket
1 to 1 1/2 cups raw chicken breast or thigh meat, sliced into strips and marinated in 2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh red chilies, chopped/snipped (I use a pair of kitchen scissors) roughly
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup baguio beans, sliced diagonally
3 spring (green) onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
canola oil for stir-frying

Bring a large pot of pot to a boil and remove from heat. Dunk in your rice noodles. Allow noodles to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

Note: The noodles will be fried later, so make sure that they're not toosoft. Noodles are ready to be drained when they are soft enough to be eaten, but are still firm. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Stir-fry chicken strips until half-cooked. Set aside chicken and marinade.

In the same pan, saute minced garlic and chilies. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add chicken strips and marinade. Add chicken stock if the pan becomes dry, don't add too much though cos it might make the noodles soggy later. Add in carrots and baguio beans.

Add noodles and pour in Pad Thai sauce (you can leave a bit of sauce for later). Stir noodles using two wooden spatulas (or whatever you use for stir-frying). Toss and turn the noodles gently until everything is coated. If the pan becomes dry, push the noodles to the side and add a little oil.

Add in carrots and baguio beans. Sprinkle pepper. Continue tossing the noodles until it's firm but not hard or crunchy.

Taste-test noodles, add more fish sauce and more pepper if needed.

Once desired flavor is reached, plate noodles and top with green onions, cilantro and roasted nuts. And of course, enjoy!